The eighth annual Project Jumpstart Innovation Competition took place on February 6 over Zoom–our first virtual competition! The day was an inspiring display of creativity, planning, entrepreneurial thinking, and professionalism from all of our contestants. The future is in good hands!
Many thanks to the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Kelley School of Business for their continued generous support of the Project Jumpstart Innovation Competition since its inception. We’re also extremely grateful to all the judges this year for devoting their time and energy to supporting innovation within the Jacobs student body: Donald F. Kuratko (Executive and Academic Director of the JCEI), Travis Brown (Executive Director of the Shoemaker Innovation Center), Monique Mead (Director of Music Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University), Jennie Moser (founder of Jennie Moser Design), and Austin Pancner (founder of The Functional Musician, and last year’s Innovation Competition winner)!
Read on for some words from the competition winners, as well as descriptions of all the innovative projects in the competition this year.
Pocket | Charlie Edmonds (Winner)
“From the brainstorming phase to the competition presentation day, the Innovation Competition experience has been life-changing. I have never viewed myself as an entrepreneur, but I knew that I wanted to develop certain ideas that would impact the field of music education and the underserved communities where I taught. This competition, with the helpful advisors at the Office of Entrepreneurship and Career Development, was the motivation and resource I needed in order to begin. The staff continually validated my ideas and helped me shape them into a business plan. I am now diving into entrepreneurship and feel affirmed in pursuing things I never could have imagined, and this competition was the catalyst for it all.” – Charlie Edmonds
Pocket is a comprehensive beginning band method book utilizing African American music as its vehicle of instruction. This method book is comprised of short pieces and worksheets based on gospel, hip hop, R&B, funk, and jazz genres that have been arranged specifically for band students in their first two years of learning an instrument. Pocket, titled as a nod to Black music’s groove of “playing in the Pocket,” will address a longstanding shortage of African American music in the method books commonly used in beginning band instruction.
Quilt for Musicians | Marc Levesque (Second Prize)
“I am extremely honored to be a prizewinner in the Innovation Competition. For the past several years, I have read every announcement of the winners and have always been inspired by their projects, so it is amazing to be included as one of the prizewinners. I think many musicians have ideas that they would love to pursue if they could just find the time to do so, and the competition is the perfect opportunity and motivator to write down, think through, and present an idea in detail. The resources and coaching provided to help me refine the idea were incredibly helpful, and the competition was a great chance to observe, learn from, and be energized by all the innovative ideas that were presented. It was a fantastic experience.” – Marc Levesque
Quilt for Musicians combines comprehensive marketing training entirely free with extremely affordable website building and hosting. Quilt for Musicians will enable music teachers to promote and present themselves online as a music educator and increase the number of students they can reach and attract for their private studios….By offering free training and incredibly affordable hosting while still being able to make a profit, Quilt for Musicians is well positioned to grow quickly, profitably, and help countless music teachers to build thriving music studios.
El Imperio de la Luz: A Community Opera Score | Diego Barbosa-Vásquez (Third Prize)
“The Innovation Competition was a great experience for me. It helped to polish the way the Community Opera Scores are presented to the industry and communities. When you create something based on a lot of music, pedagogic, artistic industry, and market research you know the full potential and benefits of the product. However, in order for many people to enjoy the benefits, you need to package this information in an understandable way for someone that has never seen something similar before. Being a real entrepreneur is not only about creating something valuable but also to make sure others can see its value. As a foreigner, doing this in English and in front of multiple experts in the arts, opera, music, and business industry was challenging, but the Office of Entrepreneurship and Career Development at JSoM helped me to be prepared. I am very excited because with the prize we are a step closer to the worldwide distribution of the score. It will allow multiple communities around the globe to enjoy sustainable, multi artistic training and multilevel opera experiences.” – Diego Barbosa-Vásquez
Community Opera Scores is a new way to offer artistic training and experiences in a holistic and sustainable multilevel way. It is a set of pedagogic, logistic, music, and artistic instructions to experience and learn arts in a sustainable multilevel setting. A solution for communities, cities, schools, colleges, universities, and organizations to offer holistic artistic training and experiences. With a renting fee of 2000 USD to serve around 100 people per session, the Community Opera Score allows community members (kids, youths, and adults), music students (advance, mid, and beginners), and professionals to perform an opera altogether side-by-side. This Score offers training in singing, acting, playing in an orchestra, and creating arts, compositions, and stories.
Visit Diego’s website here: Diego Barbosa-Vàsquez
Opus One | Brian McDonie (Third Prize)
“I found competing in Jumpstart’s Innovation Competition to be a valuable and truly enjoyable experience. Throughout each stage of the process, I was able to grow my marketing and business planning skills and then directly apply everything I learned to my small business. All of the people involved with this competition—from the project advisors to my fellow participants to the judges—were wonderful! It was a very motivating experience for me to be surrounded by other entrepreneurial individuals. As one of the competition prize winners, I was thrilled to see other people excited about my project and to get to see other participants’ exciting projects, as well. I am deeply grateful for the judges’ support and the competition’s financial investment.” – Brian McDonie
Opus One, LLC is a veteran-owned, innovative startup that specializes in writing original music for live performance at weddings, chamber music concerts, and special events. In addition to writing new music, we also connect our clients with talented musicians to perform their customized compositions at their event. Our clients own the rights to their new music to cherish as a one-of-kind keepsake. Opus One addresses the need for new personalized chamber music that is engaging for both audiences and performers. Our goal is to use music to help people make life events extraordinary.
Visit Brian’s website here: Opus One, LLC
ViolinGym | Munire Mierxiati (Third Prize)
“The Innovation Competition was a big source of motivation for me and my career. It provided such a great opportunity to share my ideas with my teachers and peers. This is my first time sharing my story and my dream. It definitely took a lot of courage to put myself out there and present it to a cohort of experts. I’d like to thank my coaches, who have been encouraging me and helping me through the process. Winning the third prize also gives me huge confidence in my project, proving to me that any dream might become reality, as soon as you begin to press the start button and put it in action.” – Munire Mierxiati
ViolinGym is a technology start-up focusing on revolutionizing the online music education industry. [Its founder’s vision is] creating a multi-dimensional co-practicing tool that helps musicians who are in need of practice companions to find suitable, qualified practice coaches at an affordable price. The main components of ViolinGym’s product offerings are online digital media content creation and 1v1 co-practicing sessions….Currently with almost no presence of a meaningful music education brand on the public market, it is reasonable and exciting for ViolinGym to pioneer as a leading tech start up.
ArtHub | Nick Adkins (Finalist)
With teammates Barış Beydüz, Ada Cigeroglu, and Alexander Subev
ArtHub is a musical and artistic performance venue that aims to provide an enjoyable and artistically driven environment for the members of the Bloomington community, enabling a community-wide artistic network. ArtHub unites artists from different types of art from painting to sculpture to music in a social environment. While our regular customers come in for our bar and brewery, associate artists have the chance to perform and expose their art to them. ArtHub will work with local professionals, freelancers, college students, professors, bands and groups to provide nightly performances featuring many different types of musical genres, to help redefine how communities can interact with the artists that live within them. By combining genres, ArtHub hopes to blur the strict barrier that exists between them. We strive to be a welcoming and relaxed environment and gathering place of all cultures and backgrounds, where you can hear great music, drink good drinks, eat good food, help to give back to the community by allowing them to utilize our space, as well as take part in valuable educational programs, masterclasses and seminars that are open to everyone.
Access Point | Ellé Crowhurst (Finalist)
Summer institutes offer collegiate classical musicians a multitude of benefits. Beyond maintaining musical ‘fitness’ during the summer, they provide high-level training and pre-professional experiences. Working with esteemed instructors and collaborating with talented, passionate peers enriches a student’s personal development and expands her/his network of future colleagues, professors and employers. Yet the substantial financial and time investments these experiences require keep many students from being able to participate, especially those who lack the financial margin, time or flexibility in scheduling due to a summer job. Access Point addresses this disparity by reimagining the summer festival experience in format and content. Through a hybrid mode of in-person and virtual instruction personalized to each student, participants benefit from high-caliber education and performance opportunities within their geographic context. The program itself combines rigorous musical study with real-world career advice and experience, reflected in the six core components: Private Instruction, Masterclasses, Collaborative Projects, Career Development, Wellness and Community Engagement.
MUSE: A Visualized Chamber Opera | Sara Dailey (Finalist)
With teammate Jamey Guzman
Our team, made up of composer Jamey J Guzman and librettist Caitlyn Klinepeter-Persing, with lead commissioning artist Sara Dailey, believes that we have landed on an innovative and experimental new format for enjoying contemporary opera, at a time when both opera houses are closed and economic disparity would keep many from them even without a global pandemic. We envision a non-staged approach, with audio recorded at distance and paired with a video-format libretto, complete with stage directions and augmented with concept art of scenes, characters, and moments throughout. In this way, an audience member anywhere in the world can read and listen to the video on their own time and in their own space, visualizing the story in their mind as it unfolds.
Apollo’s Ward | Duncan Holzhall (Finalist)
Apollo’s Ward is an independent think tank/watchdog organization dedicated to advocacy and policy recommendation for issues specific to young artists in the classical music industry. After conducting a variety of design thinking workshops with young artists of varied backgrounds, six general cognate areas of issues within the classical music industry emerged, each with its own unique set of challenges and solutions. Apollo’s Ward will aim to investigate and prototype solutions for these issues before creating tangible practice and policy proposals to present to companies and communities alike. The organization will also provide artists with resources ranging from career development to mental health support to music-oriented activism in the interest of empowering young artists to make change in their communities.
Panther Brass | Jenna Montes (Finalist)
Panther Brass is a university student-led program completely based on volunteer involvement. This program aims to give Black and Latinx brass-players from local high schools opportunities in higher education in the form of mentorship, friendship networking, and donation-based financial support. Our high school Cubs will participate in the program free of charge and will be guided by students from Indiana University in topics such as brass performance, music education, how to apply and audition for college, and more. The pack of Cubs and Panthers will also participate in monthly free social events to strengthen relationships and build a sense of community amongst the students and their mentors. Our goals lie in social justice, accessible opportunities, a safe space, and musical excellence.
Visible | Jude Richardson (Finalist)
With teammate Freya Dave
The aim of Visible is to build the altruistic communities of the future—ones where financial circumstance fails to constrain ability and determination; where individuals offer small parts of their time to build the dreams of those around them. Visible accomplishes this with a token—a contract between the aspirant in need of support and the developer providing information, digital engagement, or patronage. Such tokens would be backed by a portfolio of rewards, opportunities, and resources. The digital tokens will be made available through the Visible website. Users would support in-website projects to earn tokens. Such tokens could be used to promote new requests, access involvement rewards and opportunities, or to highlight the people and organizations most meaningful to them.
PAIRAPHRASE | Naseer Sleets (Finalist)
PAIRAPHRASE is a technology app that combines music with pictures. The app is intended for anyone who wants to add an extra layer of meaning to their visual material. Music is often coined as a “universal language.” It has the power to unite all people regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, etc., PAIRAPHRASE is intended to elevate the experience of social media consumption and viewing pictures. Additionally, the app creates a sense of community. Users are able to interact with content creators and as well as a variety of music.
We were incredibly inspired by the hard work and ingenuity displayed by all the contestants this year! A big thank you to everyone involved, and we look forward to seeing more innovation from Jacobs students in next year’s competition!